Applications for the 2017 Summer STEM Program are now available!

NOTE: Classes will operate if a minimum class size is reached. Our intent is to admit students into their highest-ranked course selection.  Course popularity and class size constraints will determine final placement.  Students are only enrolled in one of the following courses during the entire six weeks of the program.

Contact: or 212.353.4288

Below are the sections that were offered in 2017.

Digital Electronics for the Inventor
Prof. Yash Risbud
Department of Electrical Engineering
Director, C.V. Starr Research Foundation

This hands-on course challenges you to assess, design, build, test, and demonstrate an electronics project from scratch.  Daily lecture topics include digital logic design, circuit theory, programmable devices, and basic microelectronics.  Students will work with diagnostic tools critical in creating a successful device of their own design.  Initial designs by the faculty will be used as demonstrations and practice experiments.  Student work culminates with an original design they create in small teams.  Each student will build several circuits individually, with the final projects performed in groups.  Students will develop your skills in project management, prototyping, protocol and functional testing, quality assurance, and device deployment.  It is highly recommended that students requesting this course already have beginner electronics and/or microcontroller background.

STEM to STEAM: The Rube Goldberg Project
Prof. George Delagrammatikas
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Drawing from Peter Cooper’s legacy of invention, students are immersed in a rigorous, hands-on engineering and arts competition that broadens their understanding of mechanical engineering concepts through application. Lectures and laboratory demonstrations prepare the students to perform their team-based activities, centered on designing and building a kinetic sculpture that is inspired by "Rube Goldberg" machines.  Among the fundamental subsystems are: DC motors, microcontrollers, hydraulic pumps, truss structures, and pneumatic and hydraulic systems.  Student learn how to use basic manual and power tools.

Example student projects can be seen here.

Racecar Design through Engineering Experimentation
The FormulaSAE Team

Prof Delagrammatikas, Coordinator

This hands-on laboratory course allows students to explore heat exchangers, pumps, internal combustion engines, a wind tunnel, refrigeration cycles, direct-current motors, and fundamental microcontroller use. Students will have the opportunity to explore design considerations, such as hardware/software selection or system level integration, to help connect theoretical foundations with application.  Students will be divided into teams of 3-4 students which rotate through a series of ten experiments that relate to the racecar.  They explore the fundamentals of mechanical measurement, report-writing, and graphical presentation of data.

A team-based research project will then be selected by the student teams which will require the students to design, build, and test systems for the Cooper Union Formula SAE racecar. These systems include, but are not limited to: 1) a wireless data acquisition system, 2) a new aerodynamic nosecone, 3) a lightweight crash structure, 4) frame testing system, 5) carbon-fiber suspension members, 6) an improved cooling system, and a 7) turbocharged, single-cylinder engine test stand.

Example student work can be seen here.

Modeling NYC's Sustainable Structures
Prof. Joseph Cataldo and Prof. Vito Guido
Professors of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is made up of many diverse fields. Among these are the design and construction of buildings, towers, bridges, airports, tunnels, sustainable structures such as green roofs, streets, walls and rain gardens. Students in this section will develop proposals to study, design and build a project on these or other areas of civil engineering. The students will also work in more than one civil engineering laboratory. They will construct and test a concrete structure to failure, run fluid waves in the hydrodynamics laboratory and complete experiments to study the coastal propagation of surge waves and shore line forces due to the breaking of these waves.

Modelling (both mathematical and physical) of storm surge structures to mitigate the destructive force of surge waves will be performed. Structural models of homes will be placed in the path of a wave. The amplitude and frequency of the surges will be adjusted until the model fails. A second model will be placed in the path of a wave with a barrier protecting the structure to determine how to mitigate the effects of surges. Students will use United States Army Corps of Engineers computer models.

Sustainable Energy and Green Resources
Prof. Robert Dell
Director, Center for Innovation and Applied Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Students will explore and develop novel technologies for underutilized energy sources. You will learn hands-on methods for harvesting green energy while becoming familiar with basic heat transfer, thermodynamics, energy measurement, data collection, and infrared thermal imaging. Potential green energy solutions investigated may include wind, human power, waste heat, solar, cascade utilizations, thermoelectrics, and organic energy resources. Basic 3D computer modeling skills including Solidworks will be taught and used in the design of the final projects.

Examples of student work can be seen here.

Computational Design and Innovation: The Makerspace

Engineers are natural problem-solvers who tackle problems on a global scale.  We address these issues responsibly as we explore civic engagement through our creativity.

This project allows students to solve global grand challenges through a broad exposure to the various departments in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.  Students are tasked to define an engineering problem that they want to solve, research the various ways the world has addressed these problems in the past, develop alternative solutions to the problems, and then start prototyping solutions.

Students will have access to rapid prototyping machines (laser-cutter, 3D printers, CNC plasma-cutter, shop tools, etc) to develop a series of solutions to the problems that they find most important in the world.  Computer aided engineering tools (such as CAD software, microcontrollers, computer programming languages, and computer science) will be taught throughout the project.  Topics will also include patent law, patent searches, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Projects from last year can be viewed here.

From Golden Rice to Golden Crickets: Genetically-Engineering the Cricket Biome
Prof. Oliver Medvedik
Director, Maurice Kanbar Biomedical Engineering Center
Assistant Professor of Biology

The production of Beta-carotene (pro-Vitamin A), the precursor carotenoid for Vitamin A, has been achieved in a number of different genetically modified organisms.  These include: rice (Oriyza sativa), bananas (Cavendish coli), yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and bacteria (Escherichia coli).  In each of these attempts, the goal has been to provide an easily accessible and inexpensive source of Vitamin A for populations that lack sufficient dietary access to this nutrient.

Widely eaten in large areas in Southeast Asia, crickets are a food source with great potential for such enhanced modifications.  Edible insets are an extremely efficient way of generating protein, an observation that has scientists at NASA interested in utilizing this resource in future long-term planetary missions.  For our project, we will isolate native cricket microbes belonging to the Lactobacillus genus for our pro-Vitamin A pathway cloning work and subsequent cricket gut colonization experiments.  Many species of Lactobacilli are already used as probiotics for human consumption and are thus Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

Example student projects can be seen here.

Computer Science and Engineering Entrepreneurship

It all starts with an idea.  Starting a tech company is not as hard as it once was.  In this 6-week program, students are introduced and immersed in all aspects of web and app development. Specifically, they will learn all the basic aspects of full stack development.  Learning the Computer Science aspects of starting a tech company is only the beginning.  Students will also learn the major aspects of a startup and getting a product off the ground, from startup financing to customer development and creating a minimum viable product, based on the lean launchpad model. The day will be split among lectures, practice of the lecture material and mentored time to allow students to develop their product.  Students walk away from this experience having some apps built and their idea fleshed out.

Additional Projects and Courses

As in the past, we have accommodated requests for a summer experience that allows high school students to explore their passions in the STEM fields at Cooper Union. If you are interested in a particular type of course or subject area, please contact us so that we can discuss the possibilities. We would have to find at least twelve students to register for the course once an available faculty member is identified. Examples can be introductory courses in engineering design, app development, digital fabrication, mathematics, physics, and chemistry, all taught at the advanced placement or college level, and with a laboratory component in some cases.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.